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Southwind District

Erie Office

111 South Butler
Erie, KS 66733
Fax:  620-244-3829

Fort Scott Office

210 South National
Fort Scott, KS 66701
Fax:  620-223-0332

Iola Office

We've moved!
1006 N. State St.
Iola, KS 66749
Fax:  620-365-7944

Yates Center Office

211 W. Butler
Yates Center, KS  66783
Fax:  620-625-8645




Nutrition pays many important roles in our bodies.  We must give our bodies the proper fuel it requires to run smoothly.


ChooseMyPlate serves as a reminder to help consumers make healthier food choices. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times and to seek more information to help them do that by going to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov. The MyPlate icon (shown above) emphasizes the fruit, vegetable, grains, protein and dairy food groups.

Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl.  Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories.

Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt.  Many people eat foods with too much solid fats, added sugars, and salt (sodium).  Added sugars and fats load foods with extra calories you don't need.

Eat the right amount of calories for you.  Everyone has a personal calorie limit.  Staying within yours can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight.  People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don't count every calorie.

To find a plan that's right for you, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

Here are a few quick tips to eating better:

  • Eat more nutrient rich foods, this includes less processed, more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and nuts.
  • Plan out grocery trips, make lists and stick to them.
  • Read nutrition labels and ingredients.  Can you pronounce all of the ingredients?  Do you know what they are?  How many servings come in a package?
  • Try incorporating new fruits and vegetables into your recipes.
  • Modify traditional recipes using Ingredient Substitutions 
  • Buy frozen fruits and vegetables to keep in the freezer.
  • Keep fresh produce or nuts handy to snack on instead of less nutritious choices.
  • Make water your first beverage choice.
  • Prepare meals at home often, reduce eating out.

Mindful Eating

More and more of us are working and going to school from home, and it's pretty convenient to go grab a snack from the pantry or fridge!  That makes it easy to pack on the pounds, too.  But if mindful eating is put in to practice, it will result in healthier habits.  The following information was originally published by Michigan State University Extension.

What is mindful eating?  According to Psychology Today mindful eating helps us learn to hear what our body is telling us about hunger and satisfaction.  It helps us become aware of who in the body/heart/mind complex is hungry, and how and what is best to nourish it.  Dr. Jon Kabat-Zin, creator and medical researcher, responsible for bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of research says mindful eating:

  • Focuses on the present moment
  • Focuses on the sensory pleasures of eating through practices of eating slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and stopping between bites.

Mindful Eating has the potential to improve our health and our relationship with food.  If you are interested in learning how to be more mindful when eating, consider using the Mindful Eating "BASICS". developed by Dr. Lynn Rossy, Ph.D, Health Psychologist and author of The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution:

  1. Belly check before you eat - take 5 deep breaths.  Notice if you have sensations of hunger.  How hungry are you?  What are you hungry for?  Are you bored or stressed?
  2. Assess/check out your food - What does your food look like?  Notice the colors.  Does it look appealing?  What does it smell like?  Where does it come from - is it natural and unprocessed or highly processed.  Is this the food you really want?
  3. Slow Down (this can help you enjoy your food and be able to tell when the body has had enough) - Try putting your fork or spoon down between bites, pausing and taking a breath between bites, and chewing your food completely.
  4. Investigate your hunger throughout the meal.  Keep bringing your attention back to eating, tasting and assessing your hunger and fullness throughout the meal.  Half-way through your meal, you may discover you are no longer hungry even though there's food on your plate.  Give yourself permission to stop or to continue eating based on your hunger and fullness cues.
  5. Chew your food thoroughly.  Your body will process the food more efficiently.  You will notice your hunger dissipating sooner and a sense of fullness will register in the body.  The sooner you are aware of satiety, the less likely you will over eat.
  6. Savor your food.  Take time to choose food you really like and would satisfy you right now.  Pick food that honors your body and your taste buds.  Be fully present for the experience of eating and taking pleasure int eh experience through your senses.

Click here to learn tips to teach children the art of mindful eating.

Still need more information?

USDA Nutrient Database

Healthy People 2020

FOODKEEPER app offers valuable storage advice about more than 400 food and beverage items


SpendSmart EatSmart